"Don't waste your time," a former member of the William Wallace-led Board of Directors of the T&T Football Association who wished to remain anonymous said with regards to the Petition efforts by the membership of the TTFA, in its attempts to stop the United T&TFA from taking court action against the sport's governing body FIFA.
On Wednesday the members of the sport launched a campaign to signed petition to go to the court to stop former president William Wallace and his three vice presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Joseph Sam Phillip, from pursuing legal action against FIFA appointed normalisation committee to manage the T&TFA.
The former board member pointed to reasons why the general membership, which Guardian Media Sports reported yesterday had acquired more than 51-percent of signatures needed so far, could be wasting their time.
The Board member told Guardian Media Sports yesterday that, the membership action is an unconstitutional act and it is practically impossible to take a matter out of the court unless it is done so by the people who are taking legal action themselves.
The former board member said, "It is not legally possible for the membership to get the matter removed from the court and the court knows this. Any information coming out about the case is sub judice."
The former board member pointed to the desperation of the membership and explained that the appointment of a normalisation committee meant there is no Board of Directors of the TTFA and certainly there's no TTFA, so the action of Wallace and his vice presidents Taylor, Joseph-Warrick and Phillip, was done by them as individuals, and not on behalf of the embattled football association.
"Those executive officers used their own money to go to court, they didn't use funds from the TTFA accounts. Also, the constitution gives power to the membership to remove a president but it must be done within 60 days and that has already passed, so it cannot happen. The removal of a president, in this case, requires a more than 60 per cent of the majority of members for the general secretary to convene a special meeting, but even if that is achieved it will not affect the court battle", the Board Director explained.
On Wednesday, the membership launched their campaign and with the support of Minister of Sports and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe following a meeting she had with the stakeholders of the sport on Thursday, they began soliciting signatures via the petition to try and convince the High Court that the action of the four United TTFA members (Wallace and his vice presidents Taylor, Joseph-Warrick and Phillip) which FIFA removed from office on March 17, for what it claimed was due to the new executive poor planning and financial handling of the local body affairs, does not represent the membership of the TTFA.
On August 13, High Court Judge Justice Carol Gobin ruled in favour of the United TTFA to have their challenge of FIFA decision to remove them from office to be heard in the T&T High court, as opposed to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland according to the FIFA's statutes, which is spelt out as the channels for aggrieved Member Associations to settle disputes. FIFA has since filed an appeal on August 20.
On August 26, FIFA’s secretary-general Fatma Samoura wrote Robert Hadad, the chairman of the Normalisation Committee warning the United TTFA that if they did not comply with the FIFA Statutes, and accept the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) as the jurisdiction for settling the dispute between the parties, then the country faces sanctions.
Samoura also gave the United TTFA executive a deadline date of September 16, to take its matter out of the T&T High Court in Port-of-Spain.